Years of city living will make you soft. Life almost always become routine if you do not proactively look for an outdoor endeavor to engage in. You wake up at 6AM, drive the kids to school, and by 8:30AM, you are seated behind a desk. Wife or hubby will be waiting in the evening for your weekly eat-out, or, you will have to read 10 pages of children story to your tweedledee and tweedledum before sleep catches up with their adoring eyes.
Here’s an alternative. Pick up your favorite coyote shotgun and head for the woods. Excitement and adrenaline rush beckons. Hell! Carry all of your hunting gear – the scopes, shooting sticks, gloves, boots, bipods, rangefinders, binoculars, scents – and shoot a gray wolf…or a waterfowl. Roast the fowl over open fireside in the evening. Now that…that is a plan. It gets you out of your boring ‘every day’ and makes you a shotgun carrying alpha dog!
Note the word ‘shotgun’ because you won’t have as much fun if you do not understand the power of a coyote shotgun. Lucky for you, we will try to demystify the dense alloys and metals that make up the gun that can shoot coyotes that are past 75 yards. And yes, if you understand how it is operated, we can guarantee a higher coyote kill than you have had in the past.
Parts of a Coyote Shotgun
A gauge is the bore diameter of a gun. Coyote guns have different gauges including; 10-Gauge, 12-Gauge, 16-Gauge and 20 Gauge.
A load is the breech where the shell or cartridge is loaded. It is an integral part of the rear portion of the barrel. Coyote shotguns have several types of loads including; Winchester Super-X, Remington Express, Environmental Dead Coyote, Federal Vital-Shok, and Federal Power-Shok Magnum. See the table below.
The most ideal coyote shotgun is the one that have 60 to 70 pellets flying all at once.
Red dot sights and open sights are perhaps optics to have on your shotgun. If you are serious about hunting though, a predator shotgun that can wheel around and take a shot is better. Your clear field optics and this maneuverability will be great when your caller spots a dog behind you. Even more amazing is that the red dots are functional at night.
Off shelf, you can use the B-Square. They are particularly awesome because if you decide to change your hunting game from coyotes to shoot some wings, they are easy to dismount and carry. You just remove two screws and you are ready to be on the move.
Do not ignore the importance of the trigger on your coyote shotgun. The split second delay in trigger mechanism can cost you a kill. You do not want something that is too cumbersome as to delay your shot once you have a kill in the line of sight. You also don’t want a trigger that is too light as it can go off when you are not ready.
There are various types of bipods to use on your shotgun. Most expert hunters prefer to use the Benelli range of supernovas which feature sling studs at their base.
You will need to carry enough trigger capacity so that you do not need to reload midway the sets. Imagine a situation where you will need to make six 3.5 inch shots, but only had 2 loads yet you have a barrel long enough to host more…
Specifically For Coyote Shotgunning
The 18.5, 22 inch barrel is the best for easier handling. Note that if your shotgun comes with a very long barrel, do not cut it down as this may alter the accuracy of the gun, as well as bullet trajectory. You should also not change barrels to suit your gun as there is nothing important about a long barrel in the shooting power.
A true coyote shot gun will feature Tru-Glo adjustable fiber optics with open red dots and a B-Square mount. If something goes wrong with red dot, you can easily use the open sights of the fiber optics.
Pro Tip 1: Use the red dot on daylight and then switch to fiber optics with its illuminating LED at night.
Pro Tip 2: Always make sure you choose the best coyote hunting shotguns.
Best Practices With Choke Combinations and Shotgun Loads
Coyotes are predators and when predator hunting, you must go well-prepared. One predator enthusiast says this: ~
“A combination of 0.680 Carlson’s Dead Coyote with 4 buck is worth trying out. I wouldn’t mind the Patternmaster, unfortunately, I have been using the Federal 4-buck with its awesome flight controls. If you have used them, then you know they do not work with stripping wad chokes. The reason I like Patternmaster chokes is that all you need to do is pick shell length instead of a fleet of chokes that you have to align with a variety of shot sizes. On my list of chokes, I have a shot size 5 and 6 for coyotes, and some buckshot-friendly chokes.”
The loads that are best for predator hunting are 4-buck, BBB, BB, and B. If loads are heavier than lead alloys will drag over the air and thus have smaller impact on the kill. The 4-buck is the best for a long hunting expedition due to its cheapness, shot count, pattern density, and anchoring power.
Improved Choke Buckshot
The pattern density, low price and ability to hit the target makes the improved choke buckshot a must have for predator hunters.
Copper/steel plated shot
They work well if you near your kill, but the 4 buck is best in all distances. If you can get 4-buck then you shouldn’t go for anything else when hunting dogs.
Always aim to never lay your shotty on mud or dirt. You can use both bipod and shooting stick. To steady your shots, invest in nice bipods and monopods such as Primos Trigger Stik.
Extended magazine tubes that can hold eight 2.75 inch rounds or five 3.5 rounds are best for predator hunting. A great example of such a shotgun magazine is the Benelli Supernova. You will rarely need 8 shots on a set but 5 rounds are common.
Always aspire to get a trigger that is less than 2 pounds so that your reflex and the trigger mechanism can work very fast to pin down a dog.
Close Range Shots
If you are doing a close range shot on a coyote, use the 4-buck, BBB and T. If you are trying to bring down a smaller prey, you can use no. BB.
Readiness for Kill
It may be pain to carry around your shotgun when tracking a prey. This is even worse when you have to hold it steady tracking a prey. The best practice is to strap it on your lap and have it ready for quick access when you spot your prey.
Avoid the single shot shotguns as you may need a quick follow up shots on your prey. The semi-automatic or the break-actions/pumps are the best for predator hunting. Always use the fiber optic sights to acquire your target at night or on low-light conditions.
Always shoot your load with your shotgun long before you go to the field to ensure that it works well on the distance you expect to be shooting your kill. Try practicing on coyote silhouettes, and count the number of pellets you need to down the coyotes so that you can get an understanding of your shotgun’s ability.
Adjust the choke tighter or try another load if you are not happy with the results. Keep trying this until you stumble on a load that works best for you.
The tables below shows some of the coyote shotgun loads that you can use for different gauges;
|112||No. BB||Federal Magnum Wing-Shok|
|54||No. 4 buckshot||Winchester Super-X|
3 ½ Inch 12-gauge shotgun
|54||No. 4 buckshot||Winchester Super-X|
|81||No. BB High Density||Federal Ultra-Shok Waterfowl|
|55||No. T Hevi-Shot||Environmental Dead Coyote|
2 ¾ inch 12-gauge shotgun
|27||No. 4 buckshot||Winchester Super-X|
|27||No. 4 buckshot||Remington Express|
|42||No. T Hevi-Shot||Environmental Dead Coyote|
|34||No. 4 buckshot
|34||No. 4 buckshot
|Federal Power-Shok Magnum|
|Federal Magnum Wing-Shok|
3 inch 12-gauge shotgun
|69||No. BB High-Density||Federal Ultra-Shok|
|41||No. 4 buckshot||Federal Power-Shok Magnum|
|94||No. BB||Federal Magnum Wing-Shok|
|51||No. T Hevi-Shot||Environmental Dead Coyote|
|41||No. 4 buckshot||Winchester Supreme|
|41||No. 4 buckshot||Remington Express Magnum|
|41||No. 4 buckshot||Federal Vital-Shok|
In short, practice makes perfect. Keep taking a break every now and then from your busy office and family schedules and soon enough your coyote kill rate will improve. If you have not picked up this hobby, perhaps you should join someone that has been shooting for some time so that you can pick up the art faster. Make sure you also learn new ways of setting up to make more kills. You can also read more on the common mistakes that coyote hunters make here.